The office and residence of the governor of Puerto Rico is the oldest executive mansion in continuous use in the Western Hemisphere, and it has served as the island’s seat of government for more than 3 centuries. Its history goes back even further than that to 1533, when construction began on a fortress to protect San Juan’s Spanish settlers during raids by Carib tribesmen and pirates. The original medieval towers remain, but as the edifice was subsequently enlarged into a palace, other modes of architecture and ornamentation were also incorporated, including baroque, Gothic, neoclassical, and Arabian. La Fortaleza has been designated a national historic site by the U.S. government. Proper attire is required (informal okay).
San Juan› Attraction
Calle Fortaleza, overlooking San Juan Harbor
Our Rating Hours 30-min. tours of the gardens and building (conducted in English and Spanish) given every half-hour, Mon–Fri 9am–3:30pm Transportation Bus: Old City Trolley Phone 787/721-7000, ext. 2211 Prices Free admission
MapCalle Fortaleza, overlooking San Juan Harbor San Juan
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